Fake news about 9/11 airplane hijackings was posted on the Twitter account of NBC News, making everyone believe that the 10-year anniversary conspiracy theories became true.
The “news” informed followers that Flight 4782 has been hijacked and crashed into Ground Zero, the codename for the site where the Twin Towers used to be.
Fortunately, everything turned out to be a hoax after the hackers posted another message in which they claimed the attack.
A short while after the hit, NBCNews's Digital Officer Vivian Schiller wrote on her personal page that the official one has been taken over by hackers and no one should trust the tweets about the attacks.
They worked together with the real-time information network to quickly solve the matter and the profile was shut down to stop users from retweeting the posts made by the pranksters.
Everyone was relieved, but these sort of practical jokes should represent a warning sign for Twitter, which, according to Graham Cluley, could take extra measures to protect the important accounts that might cause national panic.
It seems as the same group that hacked a pharmaceutical corporation's Facebook profile is responsible for this mess. They call themselves Script Kiddies and, opposed to other groups like Anonymous, they don't seem to have any philanthropist objectives, the sole purpose of their attacks being to launch hoax messages.
The same Graham Cluley informs us that “It's unclear on this occasion whether NBCNews's Twitter password was phished, whether it was cracked through a dictionary attack or spyware, or whether the persons who run the NBCNews account made the mistake of using the same password on multiple websites. “
The bottom line is that social networking websites should offer a higher level of protection to customers, especially those who can influence the general public. Internet users must also take better care of their personal information, being very careful about suspicious email messages and possible phishing expeditions set out to get their passwords.